It was once an unnamed road that led soldiers to the VFW Post 3308 in Tallahassee, but now that road prominently displays the name of Robert Wise, the first Tallahassee soldier to die in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"For the veterans of foreign wars to drive down his road to get to the post where people who have been where he was and where he was and where all of his friends have been is just amazing. It's a tremendous, tremendous honor," says Robert Wise's mother, Tammy Wise-Thrash.
This honor was arranged by Dean Showalter and other members of the local VFW.
"Robert deserves it. His family deserves it. They deserve the recognition and appreciation and we're very happy to see these folks out here," says Showalter, the VFW adjutant.
"We would like to do something to honor what we call the young bloods, the Iraqi veterans of foreign wars that are eligible to join the VFW. Many have already, but we wanted to have a permanent honor for SPC Wise," adds VFW public affairs officer Bill Lemocks.
SPC Wise was an Army National Guardsman deployed to Iraq. In November 2003, his combat vehicle was bombed. The explosion killed him and injured his assistant gunner.
Trueman Muhrer-Irwin, Wise's assistant gunner, explains, "He was really always looking out for the rest of us. He was selfless and he was very dedicated. He was very proud to be serving."
Serving his country is how Wise will be remembered as his name stands guard outside of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Robert Wise graduated from Godby High School in Tallahassee and was involved with the Jr. ROTC there.
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